California pear growers vote to continue advisory board

03/28/2012 10:24:00 AM
The Grower Staff

Pear growers in California have votetd overwhelmingly to continue the California Pear Advisory Board, a state marketing order based in Sacramento.

During the referendum, 95.2 percent of the voters representing 97.3 percent of the volume voted in favor of continuing the board for another five years, according to a news release.

Under a new strudcture, the board discontinued its retail merchandising program.

Instead, it will let grower-packer-shippers work directly with grocery stores on promotions.

The board will continue to fund production research and provide marketing and public relations support to the industry.

The pear board also will continue its successful Pears Care breast-cancer awareness campaign in conjunction with Susasn G. Komen for the Cure, according to the release.

In addition, the board plans programs that promote sustainability and environmentally friendly farming practices among California pear growers.

A 2011 survey by SureHarvest that examined California pear growers' sustainability practices found an exceptionally high level of adoption, according to the release.

Among the findings: 97 percent of the state's pear growers use pheromone traps for monitoring pests and 91 percent use pheromone-based mating disruption to control pests.

California ranks second only to Washington in pear production.

For 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that California growers harvested about 494 million pounds of Bartlett and non-Barlett pears for the fresh market.

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